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20110731
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services and a surge of combat vets from the iraq and afghanistan wars entering the system, the demand for v.a. health care services has increased dramatically in recent years. this bill provides $58.6 billion for v.a. discretionary funding, $2.3 billion over current funding. the bill also includes $52.5 billion in fy 2013 advanced appropriations for vets' medical care. one of the very few areas in which this bill provides an increase in funding is v.a. medical research, which is $72 million over the budget request to restore funding to the current level. with little room to maneuver on the v.a. side of the ledger, the vast majority of the savings in the bill comes from incrementing or defunding certain military construction projects. the bill provides $13.7 billion for military construction, $1 billion below the request. the milcon reductions in the bill are restricted to the active-duty components. the guard and reserve components, family housing, barrack and other accounts are fully funded at the president's request. every military construction project funded in this bill is authori
with the u.s. involvement in afghanistan and iraq. and as we'll hear from general d dudick, there's 400,000 in afghanistan. and the u.s.-led training effort is now as of this week 157,000 police, the cost of this training to the united states alone is about a billion dollars a month. today police assistance programs for the united states government are a multibillion dollar effort led by the department of defense and the department of state but involving a number of other federal agencies. as programs have grown in size and in costs they've also grown in kind. as you saw from the opening photo exhibition running here on the screens, policing around the world is heavily impacted by history, by culture, by legal systems, and by levels of development. the police force is different markedly by country, u.s. police assistance differs markedly by agent and by agency in the countries in which they are working. so today, we have assembled a panel of very distinguished experts to discuss the various experts that the united states government takes in approaching those countries. you have th
.a. estimates that the number of iraq and afghanistan veterans in its health care system will reach well over half a million at some point next year. that is this aisn' this a 100% e 2008. this is a big challenge and one that we have no choice but to step up to meet if we're going to avoid some of the same mistakes we saw with the vietnam generation. that's why this bill includes nearly $3 billion to meet the health care needs of veterans who served in iraq and afghanistan, which is a nearly $600 million increase over last year. but it is more than just the sheer number of new veterans that will be coming home to the v.a. in the near near future. it is the extent of their wounds, both visible and invisible, that will require an untold resource from our nation. you know, through the wonders of modern medicine service members who would have been lost in previous conflicts are coming home to live productive and fulfilling lives. but they will need a lifetime of care from the v.a. and that's why part of this bill includes significant investments for research in a number of areas, including trauma
risked his life to save his fellow soldiers on the battlefields of afghanistan. today sergeant first class petrie will be honored for his conspicuous gallantry with our nation's highest military decoration: the medal of honor. i will be humbled to be at the white house along with sergeant first class petrie's family, friends, and fellow soldiers, as president obama honors him with the congressional medal of honor. it will be a special day for sergeant first class petrie, for his wife, his children, and his -- and all his family and for his fellow americans. as he becomes only the second living active duty service member to receive the medal of honor for actions in iring or afghanistan. -- in iraq or afghanistan. sergeant first class petrie's story is one of courage and sacrifice and immense love of country. it's a story that began years ago in santa fe with a young plan who struggled in high school but refused to give up and instead buckled down, dug deep, and found the hero within. a hero to the men he saved on that fateful day in afghanistan and a hero to all americans who owe thei
the president to wage war. we do so at a time when the united states is so engaged in wars in afghanistan and iraq and our national debt exceeds $14 trillion. in light of these circumstances and the lack of united states vital interests in in libya, i do not believe we should be intervening in a civil war there. american combat forces are so efficient at certain types of operations and are over the horizon technology is so potent that the use of the military instrument to right wrongs exists as a tremendous temptation for presidents. american intervention in libya did not come as a result of a disciplined assessment of our vital interests or an authorization debate in the congress. given all that is at stake in pakistan, afghanistan, iran, saudi arabia, egypt, syria, yemen and elsewhere in the islamic world, a rational strategic assessment would not devote sizable american military and economic resources to a civil war in libya. it is an expensive diversion that leaves the united states and our european allies with fewer assets to respond to other contingencies. under the constitution, it
, reduced spending on the wars in afghanistan and iraq and through targeted cuts to mandatory spending. it doesn't raise taxes and it doesn't touch medicare, medicaid or social security. again, this is not a perfect plan. i have been on the floor many times in favor of a balanced package that includes cuts to spending, domestic, defense and mandatory, but also includes increased revenues. the reid princess plan doesn't e those goals -- the reid plan doesn't achieve those goals but i hope we will get there eventually. this is not a proposal i would have written, but i'm one of more than 100 members of the senate and more than 535 members of congress, and i don't get everything i want. none of us here in congress get everything we want. that's the nature of compromise. that's the nature of democracy, and that's why the framers of the constitution created checks and balances in government. that's why they created two chambers in congress and three branches of government, and when you're a leader in government, you just don't have the luxury of drawing a line in the sand and walking away.
drawing down the cost of our military efforts in afghanistan and iraq. last year we spent a little over $150 billion. this year we'll spend a little over $100 billion. and the plan is to soon be down to at least $50 billion in two or three years. so over the ten-year period there'll be about eight years at nearly $50 billion or so spent on the war instead of $150 billion. that's part of the plan that we've been operating on for a long time. $150 billion for the war is not baseline expenditure of the united states. it was never projected to continue at that level, so hopefully we could bring it below $50 billion. maybe we went get to $50 billion. i don't know. but what is the reasonable estimate? i think the house republicans and the president said it would drop to $50 billion, and that would be the baseline out there for the rest of the time. that's $1 trillion. that's $1 trillion. so you take $1 trillion out of the $2.7 trillion, you're down to $1.7 trillion. and another thing that's scored in that, since that $1 trillion in war costs is scored the way mr. reid scored that, which is ph
from the iraq and afghanistan wars are real. that's c.b.o. saying it. not some democrat who's hoping and praying for an easy fix. this completely undercuts the arguments by republicans who have tried to call these savings a gimmick, even though they included them in their own budget and voted for them only a few months ago. if it was knock their budget -- if it was okay in their budget, it's got to be okay in our budget. you can't just change your mind based on whose budget it is. the substance should matter to some extent. plus, since the c.b.o. will only measure the plan's first draft before aofficial plan savings were incorporated into the bill, the final version will achieve even deeper savings when it is filed on the floor. as "politico" reports this morning, "in the battle of budget scores, the senate democratic deficit-reduction bill is the clear winner thus far over an alternative by speaker john boehner." and lastly, senator reid's proposal allows for a joint committee that has the potential to achieve even deeper savings down the road to get our country back on the path to
influences our decision-making. you're the soviet invasion of afghanistan, which reignites the cold war period and makes the importance of u.s. national security fears ever more important for the american public. you've got economic issues at home that certainly dog people's perceptions of the administration, as well as the ability of the government to finance the things that it would like to do. all of those things and many, many more of course influence very to policies and the carter administration, and certainly space policy as well. so it's my pleasure to ask art to come up to the podium. he developed the memoranda for the present on many national security issues, including space policy and export controls. art. >> thank you. it's interesting to be your come and thank you for the invitation to represent the carter administration space policy in the evolution of space policymaking. i'd like to thank the space enterprise institute and the marshall institute for sponsoring this event. as i look over the audience, it's interesting to see a multi-generational, people that work with over
or afghanistan. at one point the c.i.a. director, leon panetta, speculated that if osama bin laden had been captured alive, he would have been sent to guantanamo. over time, it became clear that the administration did not have a policy in place that could address this circumstance. and so without a straight answer, we were left in the dark on how this administration would handle an enemy combatant captured overseas. finally after waiting 18 months, i think we have our answer. as was disclosed yesterday, he has been in military custody for months during which time he has been interrogated by various law enforcement agencies. however, now he has been read his miranda rights. this is a somalian terrorist captured overseas has now been read his miranda rights. why? why? why is a man who is a known terrorist and member of the united states -- and enemy of the united states being afforded the protections of an american citizen? and now he is in the hands of civilian authorities and will be given all the rights according to a u.s. citizen in a civilian court. it is truly astonishing that this admi
there, as little afghanistan's. so a year ago al-shabaab conducted the first attacks, actually outside of somalia. they killed 76 people, including one american in uganda. so there's a growing concern that al-shabaab leaders are striving to strike targets, not just beyond somalia now, but beyond africa. a european plot was recently uncovered. it was in the works and it was uncovered. so links between al-shabaab and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, the most active of all of the al qaeda franchises, are becoming clearer and clearer to us in the united states. they are communicating more about operations. they are working together on training. they are working together on tactics. the bomb making capability that al qaeda has, the expertise that they have there is being combined with al-shabaab's recruits. and these recruits frequently have western passports. many of them have u.s. passports. this is quite a deadly combination. and that's why last month, then cia director panetta called al-shabaab's threat to the u.s. homeland in his words significant and on the rise. u.s. forces have be
military to be getting the news in afghanistan and iraq of all the upheaval in washington, because they're getting the news, of course. and for them to worry, oh, my gosh what happens august 2 if my paycheck isn't there or my wife or my husband -- for my wife or my husband to be able to use that to pay our mortgage or the basic expenses? i just want to put it in perspective here. we have people in the military with boots on the ground by the thousands that are making under $20,000 a year. now, those are people who are living paycheck to paycheck. they don't have the luxury of having a big savings account with that kind of income, and especially if they've got children. my goodness, they're making under $18,000 a year, some of these younger junior members of the enlisted corps. so i don't think we ought to make them worry for ten seconds if they can pay their basic bills for their housing and the food for their families. in my state of texas, there are 28,000 brave men and women deployed in the support of operations in iraq and afghanistan. there are more than 97,000 service members depl
wars in iraq and afghanistan and participate in the nato exercise in libya. that's pretty expensive undertaking. we know that that has gone up 84%, military spending, in the last ten years, gone up 84%. we know at the same period of time that spending on mandatory programs -- that would be like social security, medicare, medicaid, agriculture payments, veterans payments. spending for those payments over the last ten years has gone up 32%. and we know that the rest of the budget, the so-called domestic discretionary spending which would include things like building highways, keeping federal prisons open, providing pell grants to college students, giving children from poor families early childhood education, putting money at the national institutes of health for madam chair research. that's one section of the budget. it comprises 12% of our budget. in the last ten years that part of our budget has gone up zero percent. no increase in spending in that section. most of our spending goes into the military, 84% increase over ten years, and mandatory programs, 32% over ten years. the bigge
these savings from withdrawing from iraq and afghanistan. and essential education, job creation, housing, and environmental investments where america's economic recovery and for our strong economic future would be protected from the slashing cuts proposed by the house republicans. the irony is, republican leaders previously have backed all the spending reductions called for in leader reid's plan. now, i don't agree -- and i suspect all of us don't agree with all aspects of this proposed solution. but we're not going to have 100 solutions on this floor. we're going to have one that we can vote on. i wish this would have included new revenue, especially by ending such costly and outdated tax benefits as those still enjoyed by the biggest oil companies to help us pay off our debt even more quickly. i'd like to help pay for the debt incurred by the inexcusable earlier decisions to enter two wars without paying for them. and i continue to believe the surcharge for the wealthiest would mean that they would pay more of their fair share after so many years of tax cuts that have tilted far more t
billion in iraq and afghanistan to train the security forces, less than $10 billion to retrain our work force for the jobs of the future. well, mr. president, i see others have come on the floor. i'll wrap this up. deficit reduction is important. i'm not saying it isn't. but it is not the single-most important thing right now. the single-most important thing is to put people back to work. that will, as senator wyden said earlier, start to create the demand. it will spur more private investment as the federal government begins to invest in the future of this country. that's where we ought to be focusing on. once we get the wheels going again, once we get people back to work and the economy start to to -- starts to grow, that's when we start to reduce the deficit. to just focus on deficit reduction right now to the exclusion of putting people back to work reminds me of when doctors used to put leaches on people who were ill. it only made them more ill because it drained more blood out of their system. and most times proved fatal, as it did to our first president, george washington. our ur
arsenal. the current inventory is getting old and worn down from iraq and afghanistan. some equipment can be refurbished with life extension programs, but there is no getting around the fact that others must be replaced. when it comes to our military modernization accounts, he said the proverbial low-lying or low-hanging fruit, those weapons and other programs considered most questionable have not only been plucked, they have been stomped on and crushed. what remains are much-needed capabilities relating to our air superiority, our mobility, long-range strike, nuclear deterrents, maritime access, space and cyberwarfare, ground forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance that our nation's civilian and military leadership deemed absolutely critical. and he gave examples of a new tanker. he noted the ones we have are twice as old as many of the pilots who are flying them. a new generation strike fighter, the f-35. he said we have got to build more ships. the size of the navy has sunk to the lowest number since prior to world war ii. the army and marines, doing the bulk of our fight
a war of necessity in afghanistan, keeping us there far longer than necessary, at an additional cost of $430 billion, unpaid for. a total cost for both wars, unpaid for, of $1.2 trillion. the republican party that will not now agree to one penny in revenue and demands only more spending cuts has fought to make tax breaks for the wealthy permanent that would cost this nation another $5 trillion. their favorite big business in wall street and a tax code that has resulted in major multibillion-dollar corporations paying no taxes -- yes, no taxes at all. in fact, a detailed government accountability office study of corporate income taxes from 1998-2005 showed that 55% of large u.s. corporations reported no, no tax liability for at least one of those eight years. yet, those same republicans will look us in the eye in defense of their defenseless position and tell us that most individuals do not pay taxes either. what they will not say is that those individuals who do not pay taxes do not pay taxes for a reason. they do not earn enough to pay income tax, and many of them are among the poor
afghanistan and iraq is just not credible. we don't know what the obstacles are going to be in afghanistan and possibly iraq. we also don't know what we might have to do in the middle east going forward. afghanistan is not settled, mr. president, and we have to have a certain level of stability on the ground in afghanistan or we will have wasted the billions that we have already spent and the lives of our military personnel in afghanistan because it will go back to the way it was before, a center for terrorism that will come to our country or can come to our country. it did once already and we have been over there to try to wipe out al qaeda and the taliban, which has been in league with al qaeda. we have been over there losing american lives and spending american taxpayer dollars to protect our country from another 9/11. to say that we're going to cut $1 trillion in the future over the next ten years when we aren't placing the emphasis on what are the conditions on the ground is not sound policy and it's certainly not sound national security policy. so that's illusory. and then the other
abroad in iraq and afghanistan and new entitlement program unpaid for, and a marketplace that instead of being a free market, which i support, became a free-for-all market in which investor decisions end up becoming collective risks to the entire country. and that's what we have been facing. instead of meeting this responsibility, they favor cuts in entitlements to seniors, to the disabled, the families struggling to make ends meet, to students seeking to get the college education that can help fuel america's prosperity. that's what we saw in the house republican budget that passed. but are willing to decimate our nation's economy to protect entitlements for the rich. they've dug in their heels and walled off irresponsible, unnecessary tax breaks for big oil companies. they've walled off entitlements to multibillion-dollar corporations and millionaires who need no entitlements because they believe, blinded by their ideological haze, that the rich are entitleed to their outrageous ways even if it means ballooning the deficit and sending the nation into default on its debt. entitlements
Search Results 0 to 18 of about 19